This post has been a long time coming. I've been testing and testing, to bring you guys the top natural exfoliants out there. Well, I'm finally done and ready to spill my faves! Before we get to the nitty gritty, let's first chat about why it's so important to exfoliate in the first place.
As we age, our skin's regeneration process slows down, and are skin cells don't turn over as quickly. As a result, skin becomes more ruddy and dull looking. To combat this, gentle exfoliation will help to slough off those dead skin cells, and give you that radiant complexion, because you're revealing the freshest cells. Not only that, but product actually is more effective when regular exfoliation is done. Imagine if your skin never gets exfoliated, and is just sitting in it's own pile of dead skin cells? Sounds gross uh?! Then when you try and put product on it's not as effective because the old skin is getting in the way. It also helps get rid of buildup of oils and dirt, which can turn into blackheads if left alone. If this whole chat hasn't convinced you of the importance of exfoliation, then maybe this will. After exfoliation makeup goes on smoother, because all the dead skin is gone. Are you seeing why it's so important to exfoliate?
Now that you know why it's so important to exfoliate, let's discuss how to properly do it. I know this may sound elementary to a lot of people, but trust me when I say it's not! I've seen too many people actually make their skin worse with exfoliation, versus better. For starters, don't scrub your face like you're getting a stain out of carpet…you'll scratch your face and cause some serious damage. I've seen it time and time again as an esthetician, where clients would come in and their skin was raw! An exfoliant generally has some sort of gritty texture or property to it-it's what gets rid of those dead skin cells. So you don't need to add anymore than a little light pressure to your skin as you move your hands in small circular motions. The exfoliant is doing the work, so you don't have too! Another piece of advice-don't exfoliate more than 1-2 times per week. Know your skin and follow it's lead. Maybe you only need it once per week. Experiment a bit to find your sweet spot. However, I would not recommend more than 2 times if you're using a gritty scrub. Any more than that and you could be disrupting your skin's natural balance.
One last thing. Why choose one of my top natural exfoliants over toxic ones? It's simple actually. Many main stream exfoliants today are filled with plastic microbeads. Yep, you heard me right! These little plastic microbeads are so small that they slip right through water treatment facilities, and soak up toxic chemicals. Just like all plastic, once they're here, they're not leaving. Thankfully, many states have banned the sale of products with microbeads. However, there are plenty that haven't. Make sure and check your label. If it says polyethylene or polypropylene, then it may contain microbeads. Your best bet is just to snag one of my top natural exfoliant picks!
This cleanser is a great mild exfoliant-perfect for those with sensitive skin who can't tolerate a heavy gritty exfoliant. This will give you a nice exfoliation, but nothing crazy. It leaves your skin soft and smooth. This mild exfoliant contains adsuki bean powder, known for its exfoliating properties, but with no irritation. It gives the skin a polished clean look. If you have sensitive skin, I highly recommend this gentle exfoliant! Plus, I love that it comes in a glass pump bottle. $48
This beautiful product does it all! It contains Corundum microdermabrasion crystals that aid in sloughing off all those dead skin cells. This beauty is full of skin food like Hawaiian honey, hibiscus, chamomile and lavender flowers, and a special essential oil blend…oh and lots of love! The texture is more gooey and smooth, not gritty. If you want to use it as an exfoliant, just stir the jar since the crystals tend to settle at the bottom of the jar. This gives you a very mild exfoliation, leaving your skin with a smooth and radiant look. Your skin won't feel dry or taut after using this. This is especially good for skin that has been out in the sun or acne prone. As a cleanser it's just as amazing! Just scoop the product out of the top, and gently rub off the day's grime. The Honey Love smells insanely good too! In fact, you may want to eat it…no joke. This is also a great affordable option. Leahlani Skincare is about to launch their website Wednesday January 6th! Check out their new products and packaging there.
If you haven't heard of Josh Rosebrook, you're missing out! He not only knows skincare but hair as well. His exfoliator is nothing short of amazing. I noticed a brighter complexion, after the first use. He uses both an enzyme exfoliant and a mechanical exfoliant in this baby. The perfect blend of herb and fruit enzymes with the mechanical exfoliant of walnut shells, give skin the ultimate treat. The texture is similar to a wet sugar mixture but with much finer granules. It smells like black licorice to me-which I don't mind. A little goes a long way, so you'll have this for a bit. I like using Josh's Hydrating Accelerator before applying the exfoliant-this helps to prep my skin by opening up my cells. Massage gently onto skin, and leave on for 10 minutes to 1 hour for maximum benefit. A great exfoliant for those with any skin type. $60
Last but certainly not least is Acure's Brightening Facial Scrub. This scrub gets rave reviews from the green beauty community and for good reason-it works and it's affordable. First, it comes in a tube unlike other exfoliants. It's the most gritty out of all the exfoliants I've mentioned. This is not only a great facial exfoliant but also body exfoliant. I love using this before applying my self tanner. It gets rid of everything and doesn't leave behind an oily residue-which makes it perfect for sun-less tanner application. Since this is such a gritty exfoliant, only a little is needed, and just use gentle circular motions as you work it into your skin. It smells very earthy and green. It will give your skin a brighter more even complexion. A great affordable option, that can be found even at Target. $ 9.99
Well, that sums up my top natural exfoliant picks. Have you used any of these? What's your favorite exfoliant?